March 13, 2019
A woman who went missing in Guatemala died of a blow to the head, a post-mortem examination has found.
Catherine Shaw, 23, from Witney, Oxfordshire, was reported missing after she left Hotel Mayachik near Lake Atitlan on 5 March.
Her body was found between four and six days after her death, the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala told local media.
She was found on Monday near the top of the Indian Nose hiking trail.
The Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports British nationals in crisis overseas, said on Tuesday that “foul play was probably not involved”.
The preliminary report, released by the institute, said she was found naked, face-down and with visible blows to her body.
Miguel Angel Samayoa, the doctor who performed the examination, told AP there were no visible gunshot or stab wounds.
Further tests are still being carried out to find out more about the circumstances in which she died.
On Tuesday the chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been helping Ms Shaw’s family, said speculation that she was raped and murdered was “incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary”.
Matthew Searle said Ms Shaw had been fasting and she may have passed out or fallen “due to her lack of intake of food and fluid”.
He added: “She was very much a nature lover and adored sunrises, so it seems quite conceivable that she went up the mountain to greet the sunrise, shedding clothing as she went.”
In a statement her parents, Ann and Tarquin, thanked those who helped find her or sent messages of support.
“Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises,” they said. “She died doing what she loved.”